Which Country Has the Prettiest Sheep?

This is a little outside my normal realm of blogs, but with an open mind, it should be entertaining nonetheless. When I was planning my trip to New Zealand, I read numerous articles about there being more sheep than people on the small island. This is 100% fact. There would be times when I would go on a walk and not see anyone for hours, but I would see about 500+ sheep. There are also a lot of jokes between the Aussies and Kiwis about how they treat their sheep – perhaps a little too friendly. After returning from my trip, my friends had found a movie for me to watch titled Black Sheep. It was a horror film about New Zealand and their sheep.

As I continued my travels, I found more sheep. These countries didn’t necessarily have more sheep than people, but they still had a lot of sheep that were a huge part of their economy. This sparked a debate amongst my close group of friends. Which country has the prettiest sheep? I told you this blog was going to be entertaining.

Ireland

I was in Ireland for about a week. I had hired a car and planned to drive around the whole country. It was February, so not a lot of tourists, and I felt pretty lucky with the weather. I’d heard an Irish winter can be quite rough. The countryside was beautiful. Lush rolling green hills, pristine beaches and old castles and churches. When I would reach my nightly destination, each town was as lively as the next and offered a true Irish experience. Cold Guinness, and a lot of Irish folk music. I was driving from the Dingle Peninsula to the Cliff of Moher and would spend the evening in Galloway. Driving on these tiny roads on the left side was a little challenging for me, but I was gaining more confidence each day. On this particular day, I turned a tight corner and saw a herd of sheep! They were headed right for me and taking up the whole road. At this point, all I could do was stop the car and grab my camera. I just stood still while the herd of sheep swarmed me and the car. The farmer was close behind on a quad and continued to herd the sheep past me. Welcome to Ireland, Keelie.

Peru

I went to Peru with two intentions. I wanted to hike to Machu Picchu and I wanted to do some volunteer work. I was there for three weeks. I volunteered at a local school where I helped make lunch in the morning and taught the children English in the afternoon. It was a humbling experience. After my volunteer work was complete, it was time to hike Machu Picchu. If you would like to learn more about the Lares Trek, you should check out my blog on Machu Picchu. During the trek, we walked through villages and farms of alpacas and llamas. They were everywhere! I know alpacas are more related to camels than sheep, but they have some sheep like qualities. I did manage to find some sheep sprinkled throughout a herd of alpacas, but they looked a little out of place.

New Zealand

The sheep capital. Technically, there are other countries that have more sheep than New Zealand, but they might win the category of most sheep per square mile. When I was on my Hobbiton tour, our guide told us that they used to let the sheep graze near the Hobbit house to keep the grass short. The Hobbit houses consist of the outside, and enough room inside for someone to walk in and shut the door. All the filming inside the houses took place in a studio in Wellington. Anyway, the guide said they can no longer use the sheep to mow the grass because one day a sheep wondered inside the small area inside the house and managed to shut the door on itself. The sheep panicked and busted out the fake window of the Hobbit house and destroyed the front area. It was quite expensive to fix, so now sheep are not allowed to graze near Hobbiton.

Another funny story about sheep and Hobbiton is that when they were filming Lord of the Rings, they brought in stunt sheep. The country of New Zealand has around 30 million sheep, but they thought the sheep looked too happy and the landscape wouldn’t look like dreary England. So, they hired some sad looking stunt sheep for the films.

United Kingdom

Speaking of England, the UK is home to a lot of sheep. While most of the sheep can be found in Wales, I did see some when traveling around England and Scotland. It was winter, so the weather was rather dreary, and the sheep were grazing through grass and mud. Stonehenge is located near a sheep farm, so as I gazed upon the ruins I also saw sheep, I couldn’t help but think about how they had to import sheep from England to New Zealand because they needed sadder looking sheep. And then it started to rain. Yeah, I’d be kind of sad too.

Now that you’ve heard my stories and seen pictures of the sheep, what country do you think has the prettiest sheep? Tell me in the comments below or tweet me at @keeliec5. Hopefully, my stories weren’t too bias to sway your opinion. 😊

Until next time…

Cheers!

Keelie

A Blustery Day

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It was a blustery morning when I arrived in Edinburgh. The pilot completed an excellent landing in the winds, and it was also his 30th birthday. I made my way to the tram station and headed to central Edinburgh. I had about a 10 minute walk to the hotel after my drop off point. After walking for a few moments, I was presented with a hill. I treked up the hill with my suitcase (which stands to my hip) as the wind tried to blow us around. I tried to read the map, and saw where I needed to go next. It was another hill. This one steeper, made of cobblestone, the wind was picking up and it was even starting to sprinkle a bit. I kept walking and made it onto a main street. A man was playing the bag pipes. There was a giant old Catherdral. People everywhere. Souvienor shops. And the spectacular Edinburgh Castle. I was in Scotland, and it was beautiful. I continued to follow the directions, but I was lost. I was on an upper street and needed to be on the lower street. I couldn’t understand google maps. I stopped to study the map. It was really howling now, and my 10 minutue walk turned into a 20 minute trek up two large hills in the wind and rain all while lugging my suitcase around. I finally figured out there was a secret staircase that I needed to use to get to the lower street. I lugged my suitcase down the small and dark case. A case being an alleyway for people only. I finally reached a downhill point in my journey. And at the bottom of the hill was my hotel. My room wasn’t quite ready, but that was okay. I had some errands to run. Yep, I was on holiday and running errands. I booked my Highland tour for the following morning and then made my way into town. One of my errands was I wanted to figure out Peru. I went into the STA travel shop and found a program that would work for me. It isn’t quite as long as what I was originally looking for, but I’m okay with that. So basically I booked a volunteer/adventure package. I will work with children and help them gain certain skills so they can succeed in life, and then I will have two side trips. One to Machu Picchu (which was my main goal for Peru) and another to the Amazon. Everything is already planned for me. Where I’m going to stay, what I will be doing each day, plus some scheduled free days. My airport transfer, my two side trips are all organized, and I have a few day trip activities already planned. It’ll be different than what I’m used to but I’m okay with that. I will be with the same people for the entire 20 days, and most of my time with be spent in Cuzco. I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a bit because consistently traveling does get tiresome. Also, I could be more excited for Machu Picchu and the Amazon. One last adventure before it’s back to the real world. The flight was the most difficult to situate. San Francisco had the most options, but not without a long layover. I have about 24 hours of travel on my way there and back. Plus I fly in and out of San Francisco at really bizarre times. No direct route to South America for me. Another cool thought, this will be my 5 continent since I started my travels. Besides Antartcia , I only have Asia left. Settling everything for Peru took a while, but that is okay. The weather was atrocious anyway. My second errand was renewing my mobile phone plan. I officially checked into my hotel and settled down. I walked around a little bit and got some dinner.  I was right next to a few pubs, one being the smallest pub in Scotland. I was also situated next to Scobby’s Cafe which I loved. My tour the next day had an early start, so I wasn’t going to be doing anything crazy.

ManU

It was going to take two trains and a subway to get to Manchester. It was pouring rain. Perfect day for train travel. I was running late for my Worthing train, but I made it. I made it just in time to find out my train was cancelled.  I left about an hour wiggle room to catch my train in London. I now had none. I arrived at Euston train station for my 12:20 train at 12:22. The attendant at Virgin trains was very understanding and book me on the next one. Crisis averted. The first thing I noticed about Manchester was the dark red brick the buildings were made of; the second was the liter. I made my through the town center and was impressed with the shops. I wasn’t sure what the big tourist attraction was for Manchester besides it’s Futbol team. I’m pretty sure its shopping, and bars. I joined in on a pub crawl which was fun. Met loads of people from various places. An odd amount of Australians I thought. I wasn’t expecting so many. And then I met a group of University students who came down to Manchester for the weekend for a little after finals fun. I also noticed a lot of Stag and Hen parties, which is the American equivalent of bachelor and bachelorette. Actually, in a way Manchester reminded me a bit of Chico. A college town that loves to party, and other college students like to go there to party on weekends. I was spending 3 nights in Manchester. My first full day I went out to York. A cute, old, charming little town. There is a giant wall that goes around the town center that dates back to the Roman times. Probably one of the oldest man made things I’ve seen, and walked on! That gives you an idea of how old the city is. The streets are made of cobblestone, and barely one car can fit through. The shops are made of cobblestone and old brick. I love to see the buildings and think of the history it has seen, and then see Starbucks written across the top of it.

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There are some walkways throughout the town that are for people only. They are shortcuts throughout the shops and town center and remind me of a maze. To be honest I was a bit weary walking through these because I never knew who was in the corridor with me. I walked a lot around the town and checked out its most iconic sites like York Minster and Cliffords Tower to name a few. In one of their squares a band came out to play and I really enjoyed their music. Who knows, maybe they can be the next Beatles. I was still pretty tired from my pub crawl the night before, so I made my way back to Manchester for a good nights sleep. The following day I went to Liverpool. Home of the Beatles and my friend Alice who I met in New Zealand. I met her at the train station, and it was brilliant. We truly met on one side of the world and were now having a coffee on the other. I think its fantastic. She showed me around the sites, and I made a stop at the Beatles Story. Learned about how they started and how they finished. Just a couple of young boys from Liverpool England. It was amazing being there. I could still feel the energy of what it must of been like to see the Beatles when they were performing at the Cavern Club. I made my way back to Manchester. It was time to see London.

Week 1

I have been in England for one week now. Time really has flown. The flight over was okay. There was another screaming child on the plane. I have nothing against children, but I don’t know how I feel about screaming children on an overnight flight. It took me forever to get through customs. I feel sorry for Karen when we return from South Africa because she will have to wait at least an hour for me, if not more. I finally made it through immigration and met Karen at the international arrivals gate. We made our way to Worthing and I settled in. The following day I went into town with Adam and we got my sim card figured out, visited the Worthing museum and went to Arundel. Which is pronounced Arendell, just like Frozen! The Arundel castle was closed, but I got to see the outside and we visited the museum there as well. In March, I will be participating in a running obstacle course challenge, so i don’t want to get too out of shape, so I went for a run through the hills the following morning. Afterward, I made the trip to Brighton and took a tour the pavillion. I really enjoyed it .The Duke it was built

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for was such a playboy. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my time while I was here. I had a good amount of time before leaving for South Africa. I decided to spend the day in Worthing and figure out what i wanted to do. Worthing is a cute little town. Well its actually quite decent in size compared to Gridley. It was rather cold that day, but the pier was pleasant, and the shops are always nice no matter the weather. I decided I would leave southern England and head up north to Manchester. When I arrived back at the house I booked my accommodation and trains. I would have to take the train from Worthing to London, and then London to Manchester. While in Manchester I would take a train to York for a day and then Liverpool for a day. After my time in Manchester is up, I will head back to London for a few days, and then back to Worthing. I have a day to do laundry and pack for my trip to South Africa. I am currently in Manchester now waiting for my train back to London. Everything went as according to plan.